Belgian Malinois to be destroyed after dog attacks delivery driver

16.05.23 Stephen McCabe Credit: Evening Gazette
Stephen McCabe was handed a six-month jail term - suspended for 12-months - and given a community order. Credit: Evening Gazette

A dog which attacked a delivery driver and left him with puncture wounds will be destroyed, a court has said.

Stephen McCabe, of Fernwood, Coulby Newham, lay in bed as his pet Belgian Malinois bit a neighbour twice on his arm before then attacking a delivery driver on his legs and bum on 10 August 2021.

McCabe's mother answered the door but was unable to control the dog, which also bit the driver on his elbow and hand as he tried to kick the animal away, a court has heard.

Simon Walker, defending McCabe, said: "The dog was 'protection trained' by a dog handler, but its owner is not a dog handler."

McCabe, 40, offered the driver first aid as he had several puncture wounds while warning him "not to get the police involved as the dog was trained to attack."

McCabe told the court his dog was trained to attack and let go, using trigger words.

He said: "I'm well educated in this breed. I understand that if these dogs are not trained properly they are a dangerous weapon in the wrong hands.

"My dog is trained to leave go. These dogs naturally protect their owners under all circumstances.

"When this incident happened, and as soon as my mam woke me up, I ran down and gave the command and he immediately let go and ran straight in the house."

The driver did not want to be inside the house with the dog who had attacked him.

Judge Howard Crowson said: "The driver did nothing to provoke this. You wished to provide first aid but understandably, he was reluctant to come into your home where the dog was."

The victim was instead taken to James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, where he was treated for puncture wounds and cuts to his thigh.

McCabe, 40, offered the driver first aid but warned him "not to get the police involved as the dog was trained to attack." Credit: Evening Gazette

McCabe pleaded guilty to to being the owner or person in charge of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury. He told police the dog had never attacked anyone before and he had owned dogs all of his life without a problem.

McCabe, who owns three other dogs and a three-week-old Cocker Spaniel, evaded a prison sentence and was not disqualified from keeping dogs because he has "no poor history of dog handling."

Judge Crowson said: "Your actions on the day, and over the past years, suggest that you have been a dog owner that no one would criticise."

The Belgian Malinois has been in kennels since the attack but will now be destroyed as the court heard it suffers from epilepsy and has several fits per day.

McCabe, who has since moved to Redcar with his daughter, was given a six-month jail term suspended for 12-months. He was also ordered to attend 15 rehabilitation days and pay the delivery driver £187 compensation from his state benefits.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...